Using mostly scrap lumber, I built a kitchen area and a hanging closet.


We’re looking to accommodate a beer fridge.  Essentially just a small, dorm style, fridge.  I built out a ledge for it to sit on and then it needed room to breathe, so I cut a large hole out of the side.  That should do, right?  Only thing I had to buy was the cabinet grade panel as a counter top.  We’ve got our eye on a butcher block top, but it hasn’t been discarded yet… but it will.


These pictures are out of order, and it’s not the finished images.  However, this let’s you see how I put it together.IMAG0306

When I get some new photos, I’ll show you how I finished them out and classed them up.IMAG0305

Slapped a lid on it.  I think it’ll be a useful little shelf.IMAG0304

Mostly excited about getting the interior “finished” so I can pull up the cardboard and parchment paper that’s protecting the floor!


That dog’ll hunt.

But seriously.  Aside from some weather stripping and cutting a notch in the bottom to accommodate door sag, I think the door’s done.

Sadly, while magical, the glass just blacks over.  I’m really happy with it, though.


Father In Law had a good idea of grooving the trim pieces so the glass sits in it, and then framing around it.  I had a slab of Cedar laying around, so I used that in tall the pieces touching the glass, then the outside trim is just Pine.  That outside trim let me add stability to the frame since otherwise, pieces were to small to run screws through.

We invited the entire family to come out and paint this past weekend.


We got inspired by the tavern artwork from the recent video game, The Witcher 3, and it turns out that was inspired by Traditional Polish Folk Art.  So we gathered some images and rallied inspiration, and got to stenciling.


About 5 hours worth of work yielded one completed side.


It really did turn out great, and I can’t thank everyone enough.

Can’t wait for them all to come back over and help us finish!  haha!


Brother In Law and I both worked on finishing the front door, which involved framing out a stained glass window.  Failed to photograph it though.  To described how I did it, I’d have to draw a diagram.

We picked up some nice cabinet doors at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore and proceeded to build seat storage bench boxes out of them!  Super classy and I have to assume they’re as sturdy as the previous one’s.  Definitely nicer.

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Friday night I addressed the sagging upper dutch door.  I found a method of fixing gate sag that didn’t involve building X’s.  The idea is that, when done right, this square won’t move… so then you attach the door to it.  I used 2×4 Cedar boards, and Simpson Tie’s (I think previously referred to as Hurricane Ties).  Oh!  Corresponding 1×4’s on the outside also help pull everything together.  The window cutout is for a piece of stained glass we found.

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Having built those bench boxes, I didn’t want to dive into anything else to major, so I worked on sealing up seams on the tongue side.  I’d call it a failure.  Every piece of trim split apart and the final 1/2 x 1″ fir strip looks like garbage.  I’ll figure something out….


Picture of the backyard with the Vardo under our blossoming pear tree.


When the wind blows, it’s like it’s snowing.


With the bed, flooring, and door “complete,” it’s time to move on to outfitting the inside.


M found an antique dresser with mirror and desk pull out on Craigslist and… well, I’ll just show the pictures.  Had to notch the bottom to fit the ledge.  “We’re not out much if I ruin this, right?”


Smelled like old wood!


So then I just screwed it to the wall in as many places as I could from the inside.


I think it’s actually floating.  The feet don’t actually touch the floor.  Nothing is really square so while the bottom fit, the top had a gap.

*picture taken while sitting on the futon mattress*

…is hard.

I started off digging through the pile of scrap Tongue and Groove boards because I knew that the boards I cut out of the opening should exist somewhere.  Then I re-arranged them into a door.  Parts I didn’t still have were easily reformed from scrap.

The plan was for 2 layers.  One from the original pieces that would fit into the opening like a puzzle piece.  The 2nd layer would be wider than the 1st would lay over it on the outside.  So… like a Cap and a Plug, I guess.

So here’s the plug from the original pieces.  We carried it over to the opening to make sure it fit.


Then we laid out some T&G boards and set the plug on the cap, and screwed the plug to the cap with short screws.


We realized that because of the T&G, that we hadn’t actually secured the door.  While screwed together top to bottom, it could still pull apart left to right.  So we attached vertical pieces to hold it all together, making sure we overlapped boards.


Then I think we just used the jig saw’s guide as the offset to cut out the plug.


Here’s the other side.


So yeah, the structure was done.  We then set the door in place where we liked it, and screwed it to the opening to hold it in place.  Effectively making a box again.  From there we needed a frame to match the offset of the Cap so the hinges could sit flush.


We needed 4 since it was going to be a dutch door at some point.  Then out came the screws holding it in place… and a moment of truth.


It stayed… it didn’t fall off…


And it opened!  HUZZAH!

However now it had a pretty significant sag.  Which we expected to some extent.  Gates sag on their own, but then add in the fact that the rails were slotted against themselves and can slide around.  Pretty standard gate framing on the bottom came next.  However the top required some creative thinking because we plan on putting a window in it, which means we can’t put a cross piece through the middle.


Not actually happy with how the upper turned out, and while solid, the hinges have wiggle so we still have sag.  I have a plan, though.  Next up came hardware!


The top hasp provides a lock to keep people out.  The slide bolt attaches the top to the bottom, and that ring is actually a pass through to the outside lock.


Realized that lock wouldn’t keep the door secure when driving down the road, and didn’t actually provide security.  So this keyed lock was added.  Sadly, because of the natural contraction and expansion of wood, that lock doesn’t always fit smoothly, but it works!


We still had some sag in the door, so I added another Z pattern on the inside.  It classes it up a bit, too.


The bottom door is now VERY solid… but off by a quarter inch.  Sigh.  It works, so to make it perfect later, I’ll save off part of the lower threshold and add a drip edge.  For now this is fine.


Oh man!  We struggled to find a Futon that would fit.  We had 76″ from inside purlin to inside purlin.  Anything with arms was closer to 86″ wide, and all the one’s without arms seemed to shoddy.  Till we found one at  Damn thing fit perfectly.


It had to be installed in place because it couldn’t be moved into the trailer.


Once installed, I opened and closed it to make sure I had full clearance, then I proceeded to attach it to the walls.


This also provides deflection resistance for the walls, and with that said, in time, I plan on adding structural supports to the futon.  Pieces to strengthen the futon.

Working at a Lumber Yard with a Design Center, we sell flooring.  I was negotiating a deal on some discarded scraps, but it dawned on me that I could go to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore, and boom… 70 cents a square foot for engineered hardwood vs the 95 cents for laminate.


I made sure the floor was as clean as possible.  Then I used that Zip Tape around the edges to seal those corners.


Then I laid out some of the roofing felt.  I’ve basically made a water proof tray that the flooring will sit in.


From there I explored options to lay the flooring, and the easiest seemed to be to offset them and cut 9″ off.  Each row worked out to one whole piece and a partial.


Ended up with lots of center pieces since I was cutting 9″ off both sides, but I still had a lot of scrap left over.


And it turned out WAY classier than it should be!  haha!


I rolled out a thick parchment paper, and then put large, scrap cardboard over it to protect the floor while we continued to work inside.  Next up was a door since we’ve got this fancy floor in!


Oh, the only concern I had with this flooring is that I can’t find any record of it online.  I can only assume that it was a house brand from Lumber Liquidators that got recalled recently.  I joked that we’ll end up with a hot box of formaldehyde gas here soon.  However, there has been zero noticeable off gassing.  So that’s good!

Ended up having to work this weekend, so building plans got abbreviated… but dammit I tried to kick some ass!

Getting the ceiling buttoned up was an effort.  I immediately started calling it a repair job instead of just working on the trailer.

Part of the issue was that the side walls had a lot of deflection (meaning it was VERY wobbly when it was pushed against.  Not sturdy).  I thought to add a 2×4 shelf on it’s side at the very top of the wall to provide stability and resistance.


In doing so, I had to knock out the ceiling planks I had nailed in AND remove those last joists AND the flashing tape from the corners.  Fortunately, I was able to reapply the joists to the shelf for extra rigidity into the entire structure.  I feel like this setup adds stability to both the roof and the walls.


I didn’t have my neighbors nail gun, so I very carefully screwed through the plywood into the joists that I just moved.  It went really well, all things considered!

Once that was done, I went back around the whole ceiling/roof with flashing tape  I feel really good that I was able to seal up the roof.  So then the 30lb roofing felt went up.


Sheets on the sides, and then one over the top.  So water will run down the sides.


Tried to be frugal with staples.  Any hole through is a chance for leak.  😛


This photo is out of order, but I took it to follow up with my flooring guy.  I’m pondering running Zip Flashing Tape over those caulked seams, and in those corners.  It would make a tray for water, but mainly thinking to help keep water from seeping up into the trailer.


Don’t really have any photos of the roof yet.  We still have the tarp on because we don’t have a door yet.  It’s the exact same process as before, though.  Flashing… Roofing Paper Overlap Flashing… Metal Roofing Overlap Roofing Felt…


For some reason I’m really worried about seams (and leaks).  I now realize why:  We built the old one with framed walls so there were several layers of material between the outside and inside.  This time it’s just T&G boards so every corner is a change for leaks.  I did just pick up more caulk and zip tape today.


I’d kind of like to go outside at night with a flashlight and look for light leaks to then seal up with tape and caulk.


Also, we found a futon!  It’ll arrive this week, which means next weekend will be needing to put down flooring and build/install the futon!  After that, the “big” stuff is done.


Oh right… the door… crap…